SAN JOSE (KCBS)—The San Jose City Council approved budget on Tuesday aimed at rebuilding services with a focus on public safety—a big concern in the city where the crime rate is rising and the police staff is declining.
“I’m recommending with this budget that we put most of the additional money we have into public safety—the police department and fire department primarily,” Mayor Chuck Reed said.
The mayor’s budget includes a stepped-up recruitment and hiring for new officers and money to give out for raises and retention bonuses.
More than $16 million dollars has been budgeted for police raises and, while City Councilman Ash Kalra thinks it’s a step in the right direction, he said it won’t be enough to stem the exodus of police officers to other departments.
“A five percent pay raise with a four percent retention bonus is not enough. Our officers are going to other jurisdictions right now where they are getting anywhere between ten and twenty percent more,” Kalra said.
“We have to be competitive and we are so far off being competitive even with what the mayor is putting forward,” he continued.
Currently, San Jose police officers have been leaving at the rate of six to ten per month.
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